JOHN M. FULWEILER
When we take into consideration the qualities which tend to make a successful lawyer, it can plainly be seen that advancement at the bar depends not upon influence, environment or wealth; but upon individual merit, the mastery of scientific principles and the ability to apply them to the points at issue. Mr. Fulweiler has gained the position of distinction in connection with the legal fraternity of Placer County, and his marked prestige is indicated by the large clientage which he now enjoys. He resides at Auburn, where he is a well known citizen.
A native of Ohio, he was born in Cincinnati, on the 17th of October, 1833, and is of Swiss lineage. From the land of the Alps came his ancestors and located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1700. Albert Fulweiler, the great-great-grandfather of our subject, was the progenitor of the family in this country; and John Fulweiler, the grandfather, and Abram Fulweiler, the father, were both natives of Lancaster County. They were farming people and mill owners and actively connected with the agricultural and industrial interests of their community. At an early date the members of the family were Lutherans in their religious faith, but afterward became Methodists.
Abraham Fulweiler was united in marriage to Miss Mary Ann Schrote, of Maryland. She was of Welsh descent. Her father served as a soldier in the War of 1812. The representatives of the Fulweiler family are widely scattered, many of the family living in North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and Illinois, as well as California. The parents of our subject had ten children, eight daughters and two sons, and five of the former still survive. The mother died in her fortieth year and the father was killed in a runaway accident when seventy-two years of age. He was a fervent minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and through his deep devotion to the cause he preached for the denomination, carrying the “glad tidings of great joy” to the people without wishing for or receiving anything in payment for his services. After the death of his first wife he was again married, and there were two daughters and four sons by that union. In 1850 he came to California, where he remained until 1852, when he returned to the east, and in the fall of the same year he brought his family to the Pacific coast. Both times he made the journey across the plains, and when he had reached this state he settled in Nevada County, where he devoted his life to business and church work. He was both an excellent German and English scholar and could preach in either language. During the Civil War he was a strong Union man and made many speeches in favor of the Republican Party and the Union cause. He had marked influence with both the German and English speaking people.
Mr. Fulweiler was educated in the city of Cincinnati and in Dubuque, Iowa. He was but seventeen years of age when with his father he crossed the plains to California in 1850. He followed mining in Siskiyou, Nevada and Placer counties until 1865. He was often the possessor of much wealth, but he sank his money again in mining operations, being one of the fearless and enterprising citizens, always ready to risk his capital in operations that promised well. In 1865, owing to injuries received while mining, he was forced to abandon that pursuit and in consequence took up the study of law. In 1869 he was admitted to the bar, and in 1871 he was elected district attorney of Placer County. He discharged the duties of his office so capably that he was re-elected in 1873, and during his incumbency conducted much tax litigation with the Pacific Railroad Company, arising from the adoption of the codes which brought a new revenue system, and were appealed to the highest courts of California and of the United States. For thirty years he has been a member of the bar and is well known among lawyers for the wide research and provident care with which he prepares his cases. In 1875 he was admitted to practice in the supreme court of the state of California, and in 1878 he was admitted to practice in the United States circuit court for the ninth district of California. He has ever since held a leading position as a prominent practitioner and has a large and distinctively representative clientele.
In 1865 Mr. Fulweiler was united in marriage to Miss Mary Dunevant, a native of Belleview, Illinois. They have one of the nicest homes in Auburn, surrounded by thirty acres of ground with an orchard and everything needed to contribute to their comfort and pleasure. Mr. Fulweiler has advanced to a high degree in Masonry. He is a representative of the blue lodge, capitular, cryptic and chivalric Masonry, and for six years he served as the master of Eureka Lodge, No. 16, F. & A. M. He was the high priest of Delta Chapter, No. 27, R. A. M., for four years, and for two years has been the worthy patron of the Order of the Eastern Star, of which his wife is also a valued member and officer. He likewise belongs to the Grand Council of Chosen Friends and is a past master workman of Covenant Lodge, No. 97, Ancient Order of United Workmen.
In politics he is a staunch Republican, his allegiance dating from the organization of the party. He has rendered it much valuable service, having for eighteen years served as the chairman of the Republican county central committee. He keeps well informed on the issues of the day and is able to support his position by intelligent argument, and in many campaigns his political addresses have contributed in a large measure to his party’s success. He is probably best known, however, in connection with the practice of law. From the beginning of his career as a legal practitioner his efforts have been attended with success. He has mastered the science of jurisprudence, and his deep research and thorough preparation of every case committed to his care enables him to meet at once any contingency that may arise. His cause is fenced about with unanswerable logic, and his arguments are strong, clear, decided, and follow each other in natural sequence, forming a chain of reasoning that his opponent finds very difficult to overthrow. His delivery is graceful, his voice clear and ringing, and his eloquence carries all before it, it is not the adornment of words of flowery phrases, which often obscure the thought, but the eloquence born of the occasion and inspired by a sense of true justice in human rights and liberties.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.